While the big snowstorm went pretty easy on New York, it clobbered parts of New England and left the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, without power, access to the mainland, or any hope of outside help until Wednesday.
Four or five gunmen allied with the terrorist group ISIS stormed the Corinthia Hotel in the Tripoli, Libya, on Tuesday, shooting indiscriminately and killing five foreign guests. The BBC reports that the State Department has confirmed that one of the foreigners killed in the attack — the deadliest since Benghazi — was an American citizen, possibly a security contractor.
In an apparent attempt to lighten the mood after today's total blizzard bust, Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to reward the City Hall press corps with a special treat. “I’m going to do a dramatic reading from The Onion,” de Blasio told the reporters gathered in Room 9. He then whipped out a print-out of yesterday's Onion story "NYC Mayor: Reconcile Yourselves With Your God, for All Will Perish in the Tempest," and did just that.
At around 11 p.m. on Monday, anyone with access to a window was starting to realize that the "historic" Blizzard of 2015 was actually just a regular storm. And, by the time Tuesday morning press conference rolled around, New Yorkers had plenty of questions about why, exactly, the whole city had been shut down over 12 inches or so of snow. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have defended their actions with various permutations of "better safe than sorry," if only because they have no other choice. While history gets to work on judging them, here's a look at how New York's over- and under-preparation for six big storms played out.
The Obama administration announced 14 new areas for oil and gas drilling Tuesday, effectively ending a decades-long battle to protect the Atlantic seaboard from offshore drilling. Most of the new areas are in the Gulf of Mexico, with three in the Arctic and one along the Atlantic seaboard — reaching all the way from Virginia to Georgia. The administration previously nixed a plan to open some of these East Coast waters to drilling after 2010's disastrous BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, though it now says a 50-mile buffer zone will help minimize the drilling's effects on existing coastal habitats and activities. As a consolation prize, the White House also announced a ban drilling in some areas of Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi Seas — deeming those areas simply "too special to develop."
Women in Saudi Arabia cannot drive. If they want to travel, have surgery, or go to college, they have to get written permission from a man. But during her recent visit to Riyadh, Michelle Obama managed to successfully navigate the delicate line between respecting religious gender restrictions and not adhering to them.
Openly gay Alabama state representative Patricia Todd has had just about enough of her philandering anti-gay colleagues, who pursue extramarital affairs (or maybe even moonlit same-sex trysts) while trampling on her fledgling freedom to marry. Over the weekend, Birmingham representative decided to fight back against such hypocrisy on Facebook, threatening to out colleagues who gave anti-gay speeches after a judge overturned the state's ban on gay marriage Friday. She wrote:
The government employee who says he accidentally crashed a quadcopter drone on White House grounds also admitted that he had been drinking before operating the aircraft. Don't drink and drone, folks!
Kurdish forces say they have driven ISIS out of the Syrian border city of Kobani after months of brutal fighting — the extremist group's first major defeat since international scheming saved Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar. With help from the People's Protection Unit (YPG) troops, refugees have begun to return to the city known by Arabs as Ayn al-Arab, and Kurdish flags have replaced black banners flying over the town.